Brussels – Bridgestone is to “stop all activity” at its 863-employee Bethune plant in France, the company announced 16 Sept.
The decision, it said, is in response to the challenging long-term outlook for the European passenger tire market.
“Bridgestone has to consider structural measures to ensure the reduction of its production overcapacity and improve its cost efficiency,” said its statement.
The closure decision was announced at an ‘extraordinary works council’ meeting as “the only viable path to safeguard the competitiveness of Bridgestone’s operations in Europe.”
To mitigate the impact on employees, Bridgestone is to offer pre-retirement measures, support for the reassignment of employees to other Bridgestone sites and initiatives to facilitate external redeployment.
Furthermore, Bridgestone said it intends to draw an employment-revitalisation plan for the local area and to actively search for a buyer for the Bethune site.